US fastfood chain Wendy’s International has announced that its same-store sales for the month to 30 March 2003 declined 3.0% at its US Wendy’s restaurants, compared to a 6.1% increase in the year-ago period.

Same-store sales at Wendy’s US franchise restaurants declined 1.7% compared to a 9.2% increase a year ago.

The company’s Tim Hortons same-store sales increased 3.6% in Canada, on top of a 7.7% increase a year ago, while same-store sales were flat in the US compared to a 10% increase a year ago.

The company said it continued to repurchase its common shares in March. In the year to date through to 28 March, the company has repurchased 1.40 million shares for US$35.9m. The company has repurchased a total of $863.1m of shares since it began its program in 1998 and has $186.9m remaining on its share repurchase authorisation from the board of directors.

Wendy’s management reiterated its 2003 earnings per share goal in the range of $2.02 to $2.08, up 7% to 10% from $1.89 in 2002. The company’s long-term EPS growth goal continues to be 12% to 15%.